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To me there needs no stone to tell, "Tis Nothing that I loved so well.
Yet did I love thee to the last
As fervently as thou,
And canst not alter now.
Nor falsehood disavow :
wrong, or change, or fault in me.
The better days of life were ours ;
The worst can be but mine:
Shall never more be thine.
Nor need I to repine
The flower in ripen'd bloom unmatch'd
Must fall the earliest prey;
The leaves must drop away:
Than see it pluck’d to-day;
I know not if I could have borne
To see thy beauties fade;
Had worn a deeper shade:
Extinguish’d, not decay’d;
To think I was not near to keep
One vigil o'er thy bed;
Uphold thy drooping head;
Yet how much less it were to gain,
Though thou hast left me free, The loveliest things that still remain,
Than thus remember thee! The all of thine that cannot die Through dark and dread Eternity,
Returns again to me, And more thy buried love endears Than aught, except its living years.
If sometimes in the haunts of men
Thine image from my breast may fade, The lonely hour presents again
The semblance of thy gentle shade: And now that sad and silent hour
Thus much of thee can still restore, And sorrow unobserved may pour
The plaint she dare not speak before.
Oh, pardon that in crowds awhile,
I waste one thought I owe to thee, And, self-condemn'd, appear to smile,
Unfaithful to thy Memory! Nor deem that memory less dear,
That then I seem not to repine ; I would not fools should overhear
One sigh that should be wholly thine.
Ꭱ . 3.
If not the goblet pass unquaff’d,
It is not drain’d to banish care; The cup must hold a deadlier draught,
That brings a Lethe for despair. And could Oblivion set my soul
From all her troubled visions free, I'd dash to earth the sweetest bowl
That drownd a single thought of thee.
For wert thou vanish'd from my mind,
Where could my vacant bosom turn? And who would then remain behind
To honour thine abandon'd Urn? No, No—it is my sorrow's pride
That last dear duty to fulfil ; Though all the world forget beside,
'Tis meet that I remember still.
For well I know, that such had been
Thy gentle care for him, who now